My creative process

It’s a grey, windy and rainy day at the end of January. I’ve just made myself a cup of herbal tea, put on some classical music and am all ready to write this new blogpost! It will be a mix of my nature photography and porcelain work. Some delicate porcelain poetry for a winter’s day…

So I hope you’ll make yourself a cup too and will enjoy reading it!

I don’t know how January has been for you, but for me it was a very calm and slow month. It was exactly what I needed. It felt like a hibernation and that’s what winter is for, isn’t it?! A time to rest, to restore and to retreat. To enjoy the warmth inside after spending time outside walking or working in the garden. The weather was not so wintry here in Belgium so I’ve done a lot of garden chores such as pruning and adding layers of mulch on the flower beds. And planting a new hellebore! I’ve already noticed the first green leaves sprouting above the ground, as well as all the bulbs, waiting for the warmth of spring and increasing daylight. Tiny little wonders to be grateful for!

Beside being outside I’ve also spending a lot of time indoors and have been working in my studio on new botanical pieces. I would love to share a little about my creation process as I thought you’d might like a little sneak peak behind the scenes! So here we go…

On my desk there are always fresh flowers, greenery, dried treasures or whatever I find in nature. It’s the basic source of my inspiration. I love to see the beauty and details of nature inside my studio too, although I have a great and wide view on my garden! It seems I can’t get enough of being surrounded by nature!!!!

My creations always start with an idea that is rooted in the natural world. It can be something I have seen in nature or something I’ve been reading about that made me wonder. Something I want to deepen or curious about. Or a theme I would like to explore. All these ideas and musings are written down in my sketchbook and then I start to draw the idea for the final work in porcelain. Although during the creation process I often add changes or come up with new thoughts.

This snowdrop I’ve made is for a work with the theme “Winter fragrances”. I love these tiny and delicate snowdrops, dressed in pure white and strong enough to resist the cold of winter. And they spread a subtle sweet scent!

These hellebores are also part of this new creation “Winter Fragrances”. They don’t have such a strong fragrance but yet they are essential as they are such typical winter flowers. As you might notice, the flowers are rather small when you compare them to the dried hellebores. For some flowers it’s quite a challenge to make every detail in miniature version!

A new work in a glass dome will contain the wild rose, ‘Rosa Canina’. Straight stems with thorns, buds, leaves, rosehips and blooming flowers are all part of the creation. Here you can see some of the flowers of this wild rose among the last rose buds from the garden. They have withstand the cold of winter but I don’t think they will unfold their petals anymore.

And ferns, always ferns! I love making them although it’s a long and precise process. However, they have such character and fascinating shape that it’s worth the work! I’m creating a new Woodland Fairytale piece. Even now, in January, some of the ferns in the garden are still green and can be used to be imprinted in the soft porcelain.

Another typical woodland flower is the epipactis helleborine. A special kind of orchid with exquisite shaped flowers.

(The pictures of the helleborine in nature are not my own, they’re found on Pinterest)

And at last the bluebell, a most fairylike woodland flower that obviously can’t be missed in a woodland creation. Every porcelain flower is made separately and attached to the bended stem.

It will take some months before everything is finished, fired and put together under the glass domes. But I promise, I’ll show the final pieces here one day or maybe you can see them with your own eyes at one of the upcoming ceramic markets!

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